Unprecedented COVID-19 passenger market impacts have also disrupted air cargo in 2020. Through September, global air cargo capacity was down by almost one quarter because of passenger widebody network reductions. As a result, air cargo traffic volumes were down 12%, rivaling declines in past recessions. However, yields were up more than 40% and overall air cargo industry revenues were over 15% higher.
Performance has varied widely by carrier. Many airlines with dedicated freighter fleets — especially express and charter carriers — have seen volume and revenue increases. Accelerated e-commerce adoption because of COVID-19 looks likely to extend express market growth trends. International express markets have outpaced the overall market, averaging 17% annual growth over the last five years.